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The Invention of God in Indigenous Societies

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Table of Contents

Preface 1. The `God' Controversy in Pre-Christian Indigenous Religions 2. Making Mwari Christian: The Shona of Zimbabwe 3. How God Became Australian: Transforming the Rainbow Serpent into the Rainbow Spirit 4. The Alaskan Exception: The `Person of the Universe' and Christian Neglect 5. The Debate over Io as the Pre-Christian Maori Supreme Being 6. Indigenising God: The Conflict between Fact and Value Bibliography Index

About the Author

James L. Cox is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies in the University of Edinburgh. His most recent books include An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion, From Primitive to Indigenous: The Academic Study of Indigenous Religions and A Guide to the Phenomenology of Religion.


"Cox's insightful study of the concept of the 'high god' in four indigenous cultures, and its complex relationship with Christian missionary preaching of the Biblical God, is a major scholarly achievement." - Carole M. Cusack, University of Sydney "This book is an excellent argument for the need to study indigenous religions as the beliefs and practices of indigenous peoples, as traditions in their own rights." - Bettina E. Schmidt, University of Wales Trinity Saint David "Cox is clear that 'invention', adoption and adaptation are common and everyday occurrences in all cultures and religions. He challenges the ideological motivations of theological and (still) colonial pursuits and proposes that scholars should seek to understand indigenous religious, even as they evolve, rather than use them to bolster polemical agendas and comparisons." - Graham Harvey, Open University

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